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I have a simple PSD with one layer, and in the layer I have a 'gradient overlay' effect which modifies the object. It's a very specific effect where it looks like separating the gradient into a second layer and applying layer masking is not an option with the specific look I'm after, so I'm quite sure I'm stuck with the 'gradient overlay' effect being the the element I need to 'animate'.

I want to move it from left to right in the animation timeline, pixel by pixel per frame, and the gradient is structured so that it becomes the same when it reaches the end point as at the beginning, so I can loop it seamlessly as the smooth effect I want.

I can see in this tutorial how, manually, when in the layer effects window I can drag the overlay effect to the right as a one-time modification to the layer. So, one painstaking way to do it would be to create about 60 duplicate frames and in each one, go to the gradient overlay layer style window, and do this dragging ever so slightly to the right - one pixel at a time.

But this is mighty painstaking, and it would be good to know, whether in Photoshop, an automatic/mechanized way of moving the overlay effect is possible (with the provided animation motion effects).

Thanks for your knowledge.

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It is possible using Animation (Timeline in CS6!) and keyframes.

  1. Set your gradient overlay to its starting position.
  2. Open the Animation window (Window → Animation), and expand the layer you have the gradient overlay on. Click on "style"
  3. Position the animation cursor to the first frame, then place a keyframe (yellow rhombus)
  4. Move the animation cursor to the last frame, place another keyframe
  5. Staying on the last frame, move the gradient overlay to its desired end position.

I hope this explains it well enough, if not, I can upload an example PSD file.

(PS: I realize this question was posted 4 months ago, but others might benefit from this answer)

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Thanks for posting this. I forgot I asked it. A friend privately showed me this (it looks like it's the same solution as you, I have my PSD here and it's purple timeline sort of thing, dragging it from start to finish position, very simple!), so thanks for sharing it for others to find in future! – user78017 Jun 12 '13 at 18:32

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